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About the project

Status: active

Project team: Mark Algee-Hewitt;

Start date: Jan 1, 2023

Last updated: Feb 1, 2023

This project uses the text mining methods of the Digital Humanities to explore a new history of 20th and 21st century literary theory and criticism, focusing specifically on the evolution of the discourse of identity. This research will require us to build two new corpora of monographs on literary study: as such, it represents the first efforts to use a large corpus of curated monographs (rather than articles) to study the evolution of the discourse of a discipline and the distribution of its theoretical attention among its objects of study. The needs of the project are such that one of the two corpora will consist of a highly curated sample of widely used in-copyright scholarly monographs, the primary vehicle for the dissemination of research in literary study. Such a corpus is not available as a collection that can be purchased by a library, nor is it readily available in a form that would answer our needs through such services as HathiTrust. Instead, it exists primarily as e-books protected by Digital Rights Management (DRM) software, held by either libraries or publishers. It has therefore traditionally been unavailable for a study such as this. As such, this project offers an ideal opportunity to test the new data mining exemption to the DMCA, as our project will seek to obtain this corpora for our proposed analysis, documenting the successes and challenges encountered when attempting to use the DMCA exemption to obtain in-copyright material for scholarly purposes.